Keeping Kate

Keeping Kate

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by Sarah Gabriel

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The brazen beauty is said to possess fairy magic, and has successfully charmed and seduced English soldiers out of their most carefully guarded secrets to aid her kinsmen. But now the infamous Kate MacCarran has met the one man who seems immune to her legendary allure ...

Captain Alec Fraser of The Black Watch has no doubt that Katie Hell is trouble. Hadn't she


The brazen beauty is said to possess fairy magic, and has successfully charmed and seduced English soldiers out of their most carefully guarded secrets to aid her kinsmen. But now the infamous Kate MacCarran has met the one man who seems immune to her legendary allure ...

Captain Alec Fraser of The Black Watch has no doubt that Katie Hell is trouble. Hadn't she just drugged him, kissed him, then searched through his belongings? Now the elusive spy is his captive, and it is Alec's duty to transport her to Edinburgh. But the Highland hellion challenges him at every turn, determined to escape with her secrets. Soon Alec discovers that keeping Kate out of mischief may be an almost impossible task ... just as Kate realizes that surrendering to his passionate love may be her most dangerous mission yet.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Avon Romance Series
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

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Keeping Kate

By Sarah Gabriel

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Sarah Gabriel
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060736100

Chapter One

Scotland, the Great Glen
October 1728

"Preposterous," Alec muttered as he regarded the broadsheet in his hand. The creased, worn page had just been handed to him by the young officer standing before his makeshift desk in the field tent. " 'Highland menace,' it says here. Do you agree, Lieutenant Heron?"

"Perhaps, Captain." The young officer turned his black cocked hat nervously in his hands. "General Wade asked me to come here to tell you about my encounter with this, ah, menace."

Alec sifted through some of the papers on the table surface. "I've read several accounts in the few days I've been here, but you're the only one I've interviewed personally regarding the matter. This is the first I've seen of this broadsheet. She's rather fetching," Alec drawled, eyeing the page.

"Not so much in that drawing, perhaps, but she's very fetching in person." Heron cleared his throat.

"Ah." Alec tilted the page toward the lantern's glow to read the text again. In the silence, rain and wind battered the canvas shelter, and the door flaps billowed. The tent was crammed with a cot, a wooden chest piled with papers and books, the narrow folding table, and a rickety folding chair that Alec occupied. With nowhere to sit but the bed, the tall young lieutenant stood beneath the tent's peak.

" 'Katie Hell,' " Alec read aloud. " 'Notorious Highland wench.' " He tipped a brow as he scrutinized the illustration above the caption. " 'A thief and a spy, a threat to the crown . . . possessing a most peculiar magic.' What the devil does that mean?" He looked up.

"She's notorious among General Wade's troops, and she will lure a man like a siren -- before she steals documents out from under him. There is . . . a peculiar power about her. I cannot quite explain it. Have you come here intending to capture her, sir?"

"No. I'm a lawyer, not a constable. But since I was here reviewing legal documents, General Wade asked me to look into this matter as well. I'll take a written testimony of your encounter with this Katie Hell, if you don't mind, Lieutenant." He pulled a sheet of paper from a stack, picked up a pen, and dipped the point in a small inkpot.

"Of course, sir. She must be caught."

"Indeed. She's making a mockery of all of us with these antics." Alec turned his attention to the woodcut image printed on the page: a slender young woman with a pistol in one hand and a knife in the other. She was dressed in tartan knee breeches and a snug matching jacket, with a plaid sash crossing her ample bosom, and jaunty buckled shoes on her feet over stockings that clung to shapely calves. A Highland bonnet with a feather sat upon her hair, which was pulled back by a loop of ribbon, with fat curls spilling over one shoulder. A beauty mark graced her cheek, and her eyes were large and clear above a pouting mouth.

Alec began to read aloud.

Katie Hell, Notorious Highland Wench, acts as an intriguante for the Jacobite Cause. Using feminine wiles, this Highland wanton lures governmental soldiers with her charms, then renders her victims senseless and purloins the property of crown and king. Of a wild and unpredictable emperament, this siren is thought by superstitious Highlanders to possess the magic of the Scottish fairies . . .

He looked up at the young officer. "Was that your experience? Rendered senseless, and so on?"

"She, er, did hit me in the head with my pistol."

"Aye?" Alec glanced up, intrigued. "Go on."

"She's not like the silly strumpet in that drawing, though she has a quality to her that seems . . . almost magical, I'll admit. When I saw her, she wore a modest gown and had fine manners. I was enchanted, in a way. It never would have occurred to me that she practiced espionage, though I could believe she might possess . . . well, fairy magic. That is, until she took up my flintlock and knocked me in the head with it."

Alec nodded, perusing the page. "She looks more like a pirate than a fairy. Could you identify her if you saw her again?"

"I am not sure. It was dark, and there was only candlelight in my tent. She was a lovely and gentle young lady, innocent and educated. Not that painted harlot." He gestured toward the broadsheet. "She left a token behind. A white ribbon sewn like a rose. The white cockade of the Jacobites."

"Aye, she's left them before. I've seen other accounts -- what was your experience of her?" Alec poised the pen to write.

"Just as the sheet says, she is a siren. I could not resist her charms. There is something delectable about her."

"Siren. Delectable." Alec made a few more notes. "So you enjoyed a tryst with her?"

"I, uh, do not know." The black hat went round in circles in the officer's hands. "I cannot remember all of it."

Alec frowned. He had read the same in the other testimonies: the officers were never quite sure what transpired after they met the Highland wench, though they mentioned kissing, then they either fell asleep or passed out drunk. Alec suspected the girl might have used potions of some sort to affect the men. Upon waking, each officer found a white cockade and discovered documents missing from his quarters.

Heron shrugged. "And when I woke, the girl was gone."

Alec scratched his pen over the paper. "This girl is clever, Lieutenant. None of the officers seem to know who she is, what she looks like, or what exactly happened. They all seemed bewildered. Her ruse of having fairy magic is quite clever," he said wryly, "and even practical soldiers seem to believe it. Go on. Was anything missing from your tent?"

"Maps and chocolate."

"What?" Alec looked up in surprise.


Excerpted from Keeping Kate by Sarah Gabriel Copyright © 2005 by Sarah Gabriel.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Sarah Gabriel, a former college instructor, has a Master's degree and most of a Ph.D. in medieval studies. An experienced writer and historian, her fascination for all things Scottish and her love of the romance genre led her to write historical romance. Of Scottish and Irish descent, Sarah has traveled extensively in Scotland and England. She has studied art, healing therapies, music, martial arts, archery, and falconry, and hopes to include all of those interests (and more) in future stories. She lives in Maryland with her husband, three sons, and a Westie.

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Keeping Kate 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1728 Kate MacCarran like all the women of her clan, enjoys special fairy-like powers. Her particular skill is the ability to control men like a mythological siren. Currently, the Jacobyte supporter uses her gift to obtain information from English officers earning her the reputation as ¿Katie Hell¿. --- Fellow Scot, but British soldier Alec Frasier captures Kate. He plans to take her to Edinburgh, but must somehow avoid the spell that she casts on males to do her bidding. To her shock Kate feels Alec has cast a spell on her because she finds for the first time in her life she wants a man. Even more stunning is his ability to not succumb to her enchanting charm. As they travel together towards Edinburgh, both struggle to keep their growing feelings and needs for the other in line as neither wants to fall in love with the enemy. --- KEEPING KATE is a charming early eighteenth century romantic fantasy starring two likable protagonists struggling between their cause and their awareness of the other. Kiss Me Kate is a fabulous siren, who seems to have met her match or at least her soulmate in Alec who wants her more than anything he ever desired in his life, but tries to hide these gut level needs. Sarah Gabriel provides a delightful historical treat for sub-genre fans. --- Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
For all Sarah Gabriel's education and expertise in history, 'Keeping Kate' is anything but a story taking place in the 18th century. The main characters, if not all, Alec Fraser and Kate MacCarran act and speak as 20th century transplants. All in all it is badly written 'erotica'. Ms Gabriel uses and abuses euphemisms to talk about handjobs, very lengthily at that. Colonel Grant, the 'villain' of the story, is as cartoonish as they come. He's a resentful drunkard that, as expected, will be ridiculed and humiliated by the dashing hero and her damsel in distress. Again, this book is just as cheesy as it is predictable. Don't bother!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MELKI More than 1 year ago
This is as silly as period chick-lit can get. You know exactly what will happen and, worse, how. The hero, Alec Fraser, will fall for the damsel in distress, Kate MacCarran, and heinous villain will try to destroy them. That's pretty much it. Oh, and there's quite a bit of very silly "erotica".